AN ADVICE agency is now offering Rossendale clients a better phone service five days a week.
Rossendale Citizens’ Advice Bureau has signed up to the national CAB Adviceline meaning callers from Rossendale can speak to an adviser from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
Volunteer Recruitment and Training Officer Matthew Wiseman said: “Previously we were only able to answer calls Monday to Thursday from 9.30am to 12 noon. Now we can offer a much better service for our customers and this line is manned by advisors from Lancashire CABs.
“To get in touch with the CAB callers from a landline or mobile should ring 03444 889 6222 and calls are charged at a national rate and advisers will ring callers back if requested.”
In September Rossendale CAB, based at Stubbylee Hall, Bacup, received more than 700 calls, but only 436 were made when an adviser was available. The rest were ‘out of hours’ and so went to a recorded message.
Matthew said: “When a person calls the CAB it is because they need to speak to someone there and then and we know from client feedback that the limited availability of our previous service was an issue.
“Volunteers from Rossendale CAB will also be manning the Lancashire Adviceline and when callers need to speak to a local agency the information will be passed on.”
Adviceline was introduced by the CAB in 2010 and since then has dealt with more than 1.5 million calls. From 2014 to 2015, 97 per cent of callers to the service have been satisfied with the help they have received.
From April 2013 to March 2014, Rossendale CAB dealt with nearly 3,000 individual clients – 6,577 people had issues with housing benefit and tax credits and 4,174 related to debt.
The service is volunteer-led and Matthew made an appeal for more people to come forward to offer their time.
“Volunteers make up 80 per cent of the CAB workforce; without the volunteers there would be no service,” he said.
“Volunteers don’t need prior experience or knowledge as full training and support is provided. We work around our volunteers’ circumstances and commitments and offer flexible working.”
To find out more about volunteering email firstname.lastname@example.org